I was doing my weekly floor exercise today. No, I am not a gymnast, I was vacuuming and mopping the floors in my house. I was listening to Pandora Radio and a U-2 song came on, “I Still Have Not Found What I Am Looking For”. I purchased this CD when it came out last century. I was living in Southern California at the time and I use to hang out in Joshua Tree and the desert a lot.
Anyway the song got me thinking about the bumper stickers that I see a lot here in Albany, Georgia, “Wise Men Still Seek Him”. I always get dumb founded at religious advertising and I have pondered what is the intention of this sticker. I have come up with my own sticker as a reply.
|My first “scratch built” web form|
It has been a long and bumpy road for my web development career. I have had many starts and stops over the years. Every time I get things rolling in my brain the technology landscape has shifted a bit. Every time I change jobs the technology landscape is different.
The way that I learn is like this. I set up a personal development server for myself. I read books on Safari Online Books
so that I can improve my web development skills. Currently I am focusing on using PHP, MariaDB (MySQL), HTML 5 and CSS3.
The web site linked in this blog post is a place for me to test my code. I run these applications on a CentOS 7 server from my
home in Albany, GA. I am not using any fancy development environments or GUI
applications. I am reading books and web pages and writing the code
into the VI text editor from a remote SSH session on my little Linux server. I
find that this is the best way for me to learn. I read the text and I
try all of the examples to see
how they work. Then I start to change the code to suite my needs and to
see if I can break it and fix it. This process of breaking the code
and fixing it helps me to
understand how the code works.
|My First CSS3 drop down menu|
This blog posting is number three in my series about my experiences learning about web development using the Linux Apache MySQL PHP (LAMP) stack. You can read about Part 1 and Pat 2 by clicking on the links provided.
The big deal in this posting is that the development form that I have been working on now has the function of accepting data and placing it in a database. I have also redefined the menu bar and added drop down menus. The drop down sub menus even have icons. I can remember my first experience in creating a drop down menu and it involved using Java Script and did not work in all browsers. Now with CSS3 it is so easy to create a simple menu and add colors to it and not have a bunch of extra code to maintain.
I even went to the WC3 HTML5 validator and checked my HTML5 code. I have not added a WC3 icon on a web page for a long time. Some of my CSS3 code will not completely validate because the CSS3 standard has not been fully standardized. I am happy with the fact that this web site does work in all of the major browsers like IE, Fire Fox and Chrome.
|My PHP Include|
One thing that I discovered with PHP is that I can use Includes easier that with Apache Server Side Includes. I have a menu file that I am including on my HTML files. When it came time for me to add the menu on my PHP form I could not get it to work. I did some research using Google and found that I could use this code to include content from an external file in my PHP file:
<?php include ‘includes/menu.php’;?>
I copied my existing menu.shtml file and changed it to a PHP file and then I had a menu that I can include on all of my PHP pages. All I had to do was add this at the beginning of the file:
<?php echo ‘
And put this at the end of the file:
I am really happy about making these simple projects and learning new things. One of the ways that I find most relaxing is working on projects like this.